22.04. ‐ 27.04.2025
LFFI18_Die Tortur_Auswahlbild_klein

Die Tortur

Dieter Reifarth

Why do humans torture other humans? This is the question Frankfurt’s director Dieter Reifarth addresses in Die Tortur (The Torture). Following along the lines of Jean Amery’s essay of the same name, he draws a picture of the author’s experiences of being a Nazi prisoner in the Belgian fort Breendonk. Archived footage and images from the present-day museum are shown to accompany the original audio recordings. Within his philosophical analysis, Améry shows remarkable objectivity in his approach to the origins and impacts of torture. This treatise on pain and salvation focuses on the power dynamics between torturers and the tortured. His soft narrating voice envelops the listeners while he keeps turning the tension screw. Dieter Reifarth’s film is a challenge that one cannot withdraw from. 

The film is a project by the production company strandfilm that has been based in Frankfurt for 40 years. Reifarth himself lives in the city as well.

Between 1972 and 1985, Dieter Reifarth acted as programme director and head of the filmarchive for communal cinema at the German museum of film in Frankfurt. 

Jean Amery’s essay on torture was published in 1966 as part of his book “Jenseits von Schuld und Sühne” (Beyond Crime and Punishment) and is regarded as one of the most important 
examinations of the topic. At old age, Améry took his own life in his home country Austria. Die Tortur has been given the rating besonders wertvoll (especially valuable) by the “Deutsche Film- und Medienbewertung” (German federal institution for the rating of film and media). 

More information Lichter FilmfestLichter Filmfest

Direction Dieter Reifarth
Year D 2017
Duration 58 min
Language German OV
Production strandfilm GmbH
Script Jean Améry (original book)
Editing Maren Krüger
Sound Helge Haack

Presented by:

German premiere

Regional Feature Film Program